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The Private World of Georgette Heyer

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,431 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The classic biography of Georgette Heyer is, finally, back in print and will delight Heyer fans everywhere. She wrote more than fifty novels, yet her private life was inaccessible to any but her nearest friends and relatives.
Lavishly illustrated, and with extracts from her correspondence and references to her work, The Private World reveals a formidable and energetic woman
Paperback, 223 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Arrow (first published September 6th 1984)
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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
A Georgette Heyer fan as obsessive as I would always want to read both this biography & the one written by Jennifer Kloestler, Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester but if you are going to choose one, the Hodge would be my pick!

There are similarities of course. GH's desire for privacy meant interviews with her were rare.& some of her manuscripts & letters were lost during WW2. & So, source material was limited. While both biographers had help & permission from GH's late son Richard, Hodge would have been more constrained to con
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rooh by: Salford
What an engaging book! I started reading it yesterday morning thinking I will eventually get up and do something else but just could not put it down till the last page.

It was quite interesting to read about Georgette Heyer's background & what was going on in her life as she was writing each book. It almost gives each book a new perspective to look at it from. I really enjoyed reading Heyer's letters to her favourite publishers - she seems to be just as witty, stubborn, strongly opinionated and
Interesting insight into Georgette Heyer's writing life by Jane Aiken Hodge, based upon letters and interviews with her friends and family.

An extremely private person who never promoted her books publicly or granted an interview, Heyer was loved and respected by those she allowed into her personal life, but I felt that she appeared acerbic, condescending and unlikable in the pages of this book. While I greatly admire her work ethic and enjoy her novels, I don't think she'd be someone I'd want to
For those that did not know, Georgette Heyer was an intensely discreet individual. She had a high code of ethics. Her characters concealed a unique soul that was either loved or respected by most of those people that had the chance to become a part of her life. The book is based on letters and interviews with family members and friends.

Ms. Heyer was extremely thin and tall and her husband Ronald Rougier was devoted to her. They were married for almost fifty years. Their marriage was described as
I first became aware of Georgette Heyer 7 years ago while browsing in a downtown BORDERS bookstore one leisurely Sunday afternoon. I eyed her novel, Beauvallet, a Mass Market Paperback, read what was on the cover and back page, and, feeling much intrigued about the content, bought the book.

Since that time, I have purchased several more of Heyer's novels. But, voracious, wide-ranging reader that I am, I've yet to read any of them. So, I thought I'd buy this biography to get a better sense of who
The biography is informative, dry in tone with quotes from the author's letters and works. I'm looking forward to reading the more recent and (hopefully) more detailed biography Jennifer Kloester's Georgette Heyer. ...more
This is an amazing resource for anyone who wondered how Georgette Heyer came to develop the private Regency world setting of her novels. A shy, sensitive girl, Georgette (pronounced the French way) was encouraged by her father to read and influenced by her storytelling grandfather. With her first published story, The Black Moth, published when she was just a teen, she established her credibility for world building. This book is worth the price for the older edition because of the large pages. Th ...more
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heyer, library-books
I don't normally read biographies, however, this one is on one of my favourite historical romance authors, written by another romance author.

I last read this biography 23 years ago and as I am so familiar with Georgette Heyer's work it still felt like an old friend. It was interesting to read the work again with such a long perspective. It did not disappoint.

It covers all the necessary chronological events in GH's life, yet through Jane Aiken Hodge's own writing (of which I have several) brings
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must confess to only having read Georgette Heyer's detective books, not her regency ones, but this insight into her private world, which covers both her love of all things regency and her very private and protected private life, is magnificent.

She was superb at creating regency stories full of manners and morals and what is more she enjoyed doing so. Some of her letters to her publishers are quite revealing especially when she occasionally writes of one her books, "It stinks"! Readers never th
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
I read this for a dissertation on Heyer I'm writing. It's not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm disappointed by how little it focused on her books themselves, but it wasn't a bad starting point for anyone who wants a quick introduction to her life.

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Lynden Wade
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Georgette Heyer is well-known for writing Regency romances, and started a genre now named after her, though I have yet to come across an imitator who matches her flair for detail or her wry tone. She knew the Regency period inside out, and for this as well as for my enjoyment of her novels I wanted to read her biography, to see how she developed as a mistress of historical fiction.
She did not lead a particularly interesting life, and so the biography is largely about her publishings, her growin
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Who wouldn't want to know more about the author of so many wonderful books? During her lifetime, Heyer refused all interviews and publicity. Her fans know about as much about her personal life as they know of Jane Austen's. (But isn't there a great market for all of that surmising about Jane?)

This biography gives us a picture of Heyer as a dedicated writer and meticulous researcher. The rare instances where she made historical errors usually occurred when she forced herself to complete a manusc
Linda Banche
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everyone who knows Regency romance knows Georgette Heyer. The bare bones of her life are there for all to see, but not much more. She disliked the cult of author as celebrity and rarely gave interviews. Jane Aiken Hodge's biography, THE PRIVATE WORLD OF GEORGETTE HEYER, sheds light about the life of someone so well known and at the same time so well hidden.

A compulsive writer, Ms. Heyer (pronounced "hare") published her first novel in 1921 when she was nineteen. Then, for the rest of her life, w
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Georgette Heyer was a very private author and never gave any interviews throughout her long writing career. In spite of this her novels achieved world wide fame. She created her own private world in her Regency novels though she also wrote some very well regarded straight historical novels including 'An Infamous Army' which is set around the Battle of Waterloo and is considered one of the best accounts of the battle ever written.

Heyer started her writing career when she in her teens and within a
Dec 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: georgette-heyer
I'm so glad this has been rereleased. I have loved Georgette Heyer's novels and have every one in my library. I appreciate her great research into the Regency and Georgian periods. She created the genre. Most of the social slang and other terms have come from her research; other authors use her terms over and over - sometimes without an understanding of them, therefore, in inappropriate ways.

It's rather startling to discover that she was not a very likeable person herself, considering herself on
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joan Aiken Hodge was an author whose style I enjoyed for a long time; she's done an excellent job of bringing my most favorite author to life as a person. I've loved Georgette Heyer's books since I was 17! Her heroines have working brains & good sense, and now I know why: they are a reflection of the author herself! I've also read some of her historical novels: My Lord John, The Conqueror, and An Infamous Army (thoroughly understand why it's recommended reading for student officers at Sandringha ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Very interesting and well-written biography/bibliography of Heyer. Fascinating to learn that her husband helped write her mysteries, she really did believe those awful sexist things that are the focus of her contemporary fiction works, and that she kept detailed scrapbooks to help guide her historical writing. A reminder that I don't have to like a writer's personality to like his/her work! In addition, this is a great picture of how an accomplished, intelligent writer works, and how possible it ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
A well-written and illuminating look at one of my favourite authors. Includes mild summaries of the major titles without giving anything away.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: type-nonfiction, 2013
Reading about Georgette Heyer was almost as good as reading Georgette Heyer. She is everything and more.
Julie Rothenfluh
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m a huge Heyer fan and looked forward to learning more about her. But Georgette Heyer was notoriously private, never granting interviews, preferring to remain Mrs. Ronald Rougier off the written page. Most of what is revealed is from letters to her publishers and interviews with remaining family and friends. She was incredibly hard-working, from publishing her first book at age 19 to her last, just 2 years before her death. Some years, she published 2 books, many years publishing both a romanc ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Georgette Heyer was one of the most popular and prolific writers of the twentieth century. A native of England, Heyer established herself as a premier author of historical fiction and detective novels. She ultimately excelled at writing in one time period, the regency era, and her brand of “regency romance” spawned many imitators that couldn’t capture the magic and witty dialogue of the original novels.

I discovered Georgette Heyer’s novels about four years ago and was very excited. Her novels r
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I was about 12 years old when I read my first Georgette Heyer novel (The Masqueraders) and fell in love with the Regency world. I've since read almost every book she's written (save the mysteries) and read them many times each. She is considered by many to be the grande dame of the historical romance genre. She set up the prototype of the modern Regency comedy of manners novel. She was a best-selling novelist many times over yet never received the acclaim due to her just as the entire romance ge ...more
Kathy Davie
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a biography of Georgette Rougier née Heyer, a descendant of a Russian fur merchant---a fascinating read!

Hodge relates all the usual biography information about her parents, her marriage, and her one child. The best part, however, is relating Heyer's thought processes, how she worked, the immense amount of information she uncovered and organized to ensure the accuracy of her stories. Pictures, sketches, and illustrations of gowns, uniforms, carriages. Files of language, manners, and histo
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually like biographies very much. To me they seem flat, one dimensional and mostly disappointing. Not so this time, I'm happy to say, since Georgette Heyer is probably my all-time favorite author. Hodge gave the same kind of depth and personality to her subject as Heyer did to her characters.

At first it seemed that I would not like the author nearly as well as I do her books but I came away thoroughly enamored and pleased with her. It's unlikely she would have cared a whit about my opi
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this to answer questions, for some insight and let's face it, I'm a bit nosy. I also needed something to cap my year long READ of her books in the order they were written.

Georgette Heyer was an extremely private person and after reading this, I still don't know her, but I am less in the dark. She never did an interview, in fact her married name was not released until after her death. She was Mrs. Richard Rougier, smoked two packs a day, had one much-beloved son and had a wicked sense of
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) This is a carefully researched biography of a prolific author whose Regency era novels are well known the world over. Despite her bestseller status, Georgette Heyer remained an extremely private person, cloaked for most of her life behind her married name, and shunning publicity. The book details some of the trials and tribulations of her life, including plagiarists, writing pressures, and financial woes, particularly from the tax man. We get insight into the enormous amount of rese ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
Georgette Heyer was a wonderful writer. She was instantly successful and was able to churn out two books a year for many years. This biography gives us a good feel of what her writing process was like, and how she tried to protect her privacy. She loved her family and supported them with her writing. She was a wonderful friend and letter writer. I like how people who were afraid to meet her because of her fame were instantly put at ease and became an instant friend. This is a good biography, but ...more
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010, biography
Interesting insights into the life of novelist Georgette Heyer, who wrote some of my favourite historical fiction, mostly based in Regency times. She was a private person who evidently had a great sense of humour; Jane Aiken Hodge - a historical novelist herself - has written this book with great sensitivity, giving a clear picture of this fascinating woman. Recommended to anyone who would like to know more about Heyer and some of the background to her novels.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Georgette Heyer for over 40 years. I love her books, so it was interesting to find out about some of her private life. I own most (but not all) of Georgette Heyer's books. Every time the author would mention work on another book, it would bring back memories of reading and enjoying that book. Although Georgette Heyer has been gone for over 35 years now, it just seemed so fresh and it was upsetting all over again to know there would never be a new "Georgette Heyer." ...more
Kate Millin
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jane Aiken Hodge obviously thinks a lot of Georgette Heyer. I was very impressed with the amount of research that was done for all of her books, and the detail she out into them. It has inspired me to want to read the historical books again in the order in which they were written. I love Georgette Heyer's books and not really thought about the fact that she had to write a book a year to achieve her prodigious output. ...more
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Jane Aiken Hodge was born in the USA, brought up in the UK and read English at Oxford. She received a master's degree from Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Before her books became her living she worked as a civil servant, journalist, publishers' reader and a reviewer.

She has written lives of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as well as a book about women in the Regency period, PASSION AND PRINC

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